Rona Jaffe Foundation: Grants for Creative Writing

OVERVIEW: This funder supports women writers in the early stages of their careers who are working on literary fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Unsolicited applications and nominations are not accepted.

FUNDING AREAS: Literary fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction

IP TAKE: There are some great opportunities here for new women writers, however, it can be tough to get in the door.

PROFILE: The Rona Jaffe Foundation provides awards to women writers, especially those in the early stages of their writing careers. Rona Jaffe wrote the New York Times bestseller, The Best of Everything, and 15 other books. Best of Everything, her debut book, was published in 1958 and highlighted the lives of ambitious young career women in New York City.

A lifelong New Yorker, Jaffe lived from 1931 to 2005 and established the foundation to provide grants to promising women writers who write fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. This is the only national literary award program of its kind that is exclusively dedicated to women writers. The foundation was established in 1995 and has given out over $2 million in grant awards since.

In a recent year, the foundation awarded $30,000 to six emerging women writers: Lina María Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas, Danielle Geller, Jamey Hatley, Ladee Hubbard, Airea D. Matthews, and Asako Serizawa. You can learn more about recent writing award recipients here and view all past recipients by year here.

There is typically a pretty even mix of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry grantees over the years. But ultimately the purpose of these awards is to help women build successful writing careers through encouragement and financial support at critical times.

Grantseekers should know that the Rona Jaffe Foundation does not accept unsolicited applications or nominations. The foundation does not provide a clear way to get in touch or submit inquiries. The funder’s address is 21 Wildwood Drive, Dix Hills, New York, 11746. In a past year, the foundation reported nearly $42 million in assets.

Beth McCabe is the director of the writers’ awards grantmaking program. There does not appear to be other staff members. But based on 990 information, Attorney Alan C. Rothfeld and CPA Robert Wishnew are involved. You can keep up with what the foundation is doing and interested in on the funder’s news page.

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